From Self-Destruction to Self-Disruption

In today’s market, candidates (and employees) are experiencing the same dynamic pressures that affect SaaS and other technology products.  By thinking of themselves as products and applying the same practices and techniques that lead to market success, they can remain current and meet the rapidly evolving needs of the most elite employers.  Those that don’t will continue to fall further and further behind.

The Criticality of Understanding Your Target Market’s Needs

To win, products must attune to constantly shifting market needs and adjust accordingly.  The best SaaS solutions are always adding new features, updating their user interfaces, and improving the user experience.  It is the only way to deliver on heightened expectations and outdo the competition.

Candidates must have a similar approach.  Their new “features” are the new skill sets they acquire.  They must be able to plan and conduct their own research to develop an awareness of employer market trends.  They must also be able to recognize the present and predicted needs of these employers and how those needs map to the capabilities they deem necessary to achieve success.   

Formulaic career paths with a “typical profile” are dying.  Hierarchies are giving way to collaboration.  Specialization is being superseded by “super jobs” that require wide skill sets.  Most companies are focused on improving their teams’ technical literacy; technology is now touching EVERY job and employee. 

The Playing Field is Leveling

Experience, pedigree, and alma mater, once considered vital predictors of success, no longer have the cachet they once enjoyed. “Contacts” and “getting to the right person” continue to become less critical.  Companies have become so competitive that the new currency is the skills they need to win in their markets, along with portfolios that prove those skills.

In fact, in the race for top talent,  employers are reaching out directly and aggressively to recruit candidates with their desired skillsets, recruiting them via increasingly untraditional venues.  Just as the internet made a wide variety of products available to consumers, the acceptance of work-from-home has widened the available talent pool for employers, which is no longer limited by geography. 

This bodes well for increasing diversity, which brings additional benefits.  Forbes discusses research by McKinsey and BCG that shows that companies with higher diversity outperform others financially (EBIT margins 9% higher) and by delivering more innovation.

Once and Done is Gone    

Product development methodologies have changed.  Long, linear techniques (e.g., Waterfall) have given way to paths that are more winding and iterative, more suited to innovation and complex products or markets.  They favor multi-faceted, investigative, inquisitive methods that at the same time excel at rapid iteration.  Design Thinking comes to mind, in which the goal is to learn about and remain close to market needs by leveraging customer feedback, rapid prototyping, and testing.  When combined with Continuous Deployment, new features can be rolled out on an ongoing basis in unbroken cycles, without a clear ending.  

Like software, whose features are never “done”, upskilling is ongoing, unfinished work undertaken in incremental steps for rapid, continuous betterment.  To keep up, candidates must be the masters of their own learning cadence.  This means the self-discipline to set aside time regularly to take a university course, access a MOOC, create an online portfolio, or collaborate on a project with others.  Learning is now a lifelong journey.  Like companies or products that have disrupted themselves to avoid being disrupted, employees and candidates disrupt themselves through upskilling to stay competitive.

Self-Management is Critical

This will be a self-charted journey.  Candidates and employees can no longer rely on companies to guide them to certain classes or experiences and then arrange them on their behalf.  Based on the skillsets they’ve identified as necessary, they must create their own learning plans.  This requires an Agile mindset, awareness, and self-management, which are essential skills in and of themselves and highly attractive to forward-thinking companies. 

In today’s changing world, candidates must be their own product start-up – scrappy, fast-paced, and inquisitive.   A love of learning is helpful but not required.  Persistence is.

Read More Big Thinks

Big Thinks March 2021 Michelle Galvani Contributor

Degrees or Skills?

Current wisdom states that companies are hiring skills over degrees. Why doesn’t it feel that way?
In the news: The story is disheartening, especially for the younger generations. 52% of recent college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed.

Read More »

Remote Work Allows More Inclusive Hiring

With remote working, the time has arrived for all to think about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) through a much broader lens than before. Companies have been primarily focusing on increasing diversity of gender and race and have spent less focus on creating an inclusive environment for people with diverse abilities and disabilities.

Read More »
Big Thinks March 2021 Jenya Peterson Contributor

Blockchaining the resume-the ultimate solution for the hiring manager?

Hiring managers are looking for candidates that can do the job, have the right skills, and fit well with the team. Blockchain is transforming recruiting by providing a fast solution to the long-standing struggle of validating candidates’ identity and skills. The question stands on what can and can not be part of the blockchained resume.

Read More »

The Modern Workforce Needs a Game Plan to Survive and Thrive

To ensure success in this dynamic environment, corporations worldwide are undergoing accelerated workforce transformation, redefining their talent assessments, deployments, promotions, and retention strategies. As members of the global workforce, we need a game plan to survive and thrive in this new world.

Read More »
Big Thinks March 2021 Alicia Alfonso Big Thinks Contributor

Social Impact Companies Need to Restructure To Survive

Enterprise level companies with billions of dollars at their disposal are quickly going to make start-up and small-to-medium size businesses (SMBs) obsolete unless they quickly adapt and change. It’s not possible to compete with Fortune 500 companies that decide to step into their space. With billions of dollars available to them, they can do things more quickly, more efficiently, and with quicker impact than start-up and SMBs that likely had the idea first. With the world calling on all companies to be Organizations for Good, Social Impact Companies need to restructure to survive.

Read More »
Big Thinks is the Digital Magazine of the Global Mastermind Group

From Self-Destruction to Self-Disruption

In today’s market, candidates (and employees) are experiencing the same dynamic pressures that affect SaaS and other technology products. By thinking of themselves as products and applying the same practices and techniques that lead to market success, they can remain current and meet the rapidly evolving needs of the most elite employers. Those that don’t will continue to fall further and further behind.

The Criticality of Understanding Your Target Market’s Needs

To win, products must attune to constantly shifting market needs and adjust accordingly. The best SaaS solutions are always adding new features, updating their user interfaces, and improving the user experience. It is the only way to deliver on heightened expectations and outdo the competition.

Candidates must have a similar approach. Their new “features” are the new skill sets they acquire. They must be able to plan and conduct their own research to develop an awareness of employer market trends. They must also be able to recognize the present and predicted needs of these employers and how those needs map to the capabilities they deem necessary to achieve success.

Formulaic career paths with a “typical profile” are dying. Hierarchies are giving way to collaboration. Specialization is being superseded by “super jobs” that require wide skill sets. Most companies are focused on improving their teams’ technical literacy; technology is now touching EVERY job and employee.

The Playing Field is Leveling

Experience, pedigree, and alma mater, once considered vital predictors of success, no longer have the cachet they once enjoyed. “Contacts” and “getting to the right person” continue to become less critical. Companies have become so competitive that the new currency is the skills they need to win in their markets, along with portfolios that prove those skills.

In fact, in the race for top talent, employers are reaching out directly and aggressively to recruit candidates with their desired skillsets, recruiting them via increasingly untraditional venues. Just as the internet made a wide variety of products available to consumers, the acceptance of work-from-home has widened the available talent pool for employers, which is no longer limited by geography. This bodes well for increasing diversity, which brings additional benefits. Forbes discusses research by McKinsey and BCG that shows that companies with higher diversity outperform others financially (EBIT margins 9% higher) and by delivering more innovation.

Once and Done is Gone

Product development methodologies have changed. Long, linear techniques (e.g., Waterfall) have given way to paths that are more winding and iterative, more suited to innovation and complex products or markets. They favor multi-faceted, investigative, inquisitive methods that at the same time excel at rapid iteration. Design Thinking comes to mind, in which the goal is to learn about and remain close to market needs by leveraging customer feedback, rapid prototyping, and testing. When combined with Continuous Deployment, new features can be rolled out on an ongoing basis in unbroken cycles, without a clear ending.

Like software, whose features are never “done”, upskilling is ongoing, unfinished work undertaken in incremental steps for rapid, continuous betterment. To keep up, candidates must be the masters of their own learning cadence. This means the self-discipline to set aside time regularly to take a university course, access a MOOC, create an online portfolio, or collaborate on a project with others. Learning is now a lifelong journey. Like companies or products that have disrupted themselves to avoid being disrupted, employees and candidates disrupt themselves through upskilling to stay competitive.

Self-Management is Critical

This will be a self-charted journey. Candidates and employees can no longer rely on companies to guide them to certain classes or experiences and then arrange them on their behalf. Based on the skillsets they’ve identified as necessary, they must create their own learning plans. This requires an Agile mindset, awareness, and self-management, which are essential skills in and of themselves and highly attractive to forward-thinking companies.

In today’s changing world, candidates must be their own product start-up – scrappy, fast-paced, and inquisitive. A love of learning is helpful but not required. Persistence is.

Read More Big Thinks

Big Thinks March 2021 Michelle Galvani Contributor

Degrees or Skills?

Current wisdom states that companies are hiring skills over degrees. Why doesn’t it feel that way?
In the news: The story is disheartening, especially for the younger generations. 52% of recent college graduates are either unemployed or underemployed.

Read More »

Remote Work Allows More Inclusive Hiring

With remote working, the time has arrived for all to think about Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) through a much broader lens than before. Companies have been primarily focusing on increasing diversity of gender and race and have spent less focus on creating an inclusive environment for people with diverse abilities and disabilities.

Read More »
Big Thinks March 2021 Jenya Peterson Contributor

Blockchaining the resume-the ultimate solution for the hiring manager?

Hiring managers are looking for candidates that can do the job, have the right skills, and fit well with the team. Blockchain is transforming recruiting by providing a fast solution to the long-standing struggle of validating candidates’ identity and skills. The question stands on what can and can not be part of the blockchained resume.

Read More »

The Modern Workforce Needs a Game Plan to Survive and Thrive

To ensure success in this dynamic environment, corporations worldwide are undergoing accelerated workforce transformation, redefining their talent assessments, deployments, promotions, and retention strategies. As members of the global workforce, we need a game plan to survive and thrive in this new world.

Read More »
Big Thinks March 2021 Alicia Alfonso Big Thinks Contributor

Social Impact Companies Need to Restructure To Survive

Enterprise level companies with billions of dollars at their disposal are quickly going to make start-up and small-to-medium size businesses (SMBs) obsolete unless they quickly adapt and change. It’s not possible to compete with Fortune 500 companies that decide to step into their space. With billions of dollars available to them, they can do things more quickly, more efficiently, and with quicker impact than start-up and SMBs that likely had the idea first. With the world calling on all companies to be Organizations for Good, Social Impact Companies need to restructure to survive.

Read More »

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